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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 157537 Find in a Library
Title: Three Grams of Bone and Three Dental Fragments Aid Identification of a Homicide Victim
Journal: Journal of Forensic Identification  Volume:45  Issue:5  Dated:(September/October 1995)  Pages:519-529
Author(s): D W Owsley; S B Pelot
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 11
Type: Report (Technical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Law enforcement officers in Summit County, Ohio, sought help from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, Department of Anthropology, to identify a homicide victim in a case where the suspect attempted to eliminate all evidence of the crime.
Abstract: The suspect had been living with a woman for about 5 years and discovered she was seeing another man. He shot her, wrapped the body in a piece of tarpaulin, and placed it in a metal drum where trash was burned in the backyard. He burned the body at least 1 day, smashed large bone fragments that remained, emptied the burned contents of the drum into a plastic table cloth, and threw the bundle in a river near the house. Later, he transported the drum to a log behind a building materials supply store where other such drums were presented. After a few days, he reported the woman as missing. Evidence obtained by police investigators and brought to the Smithsonian included a washtub full of dirt, a 55-gallon metal drum, and a sheet onto which a few charred fragments from the drum had been scraped. Bone and teeth fragments recovered in the case were not complete enough to make a positive identification. Data were derived, however, that did not contradict what was known about the victim's physical traits and dental history. The prosecutor's case was based on other evidence developed by police investigators, and bone and dental analysis findings of the Smithsonian strengthened the case. The suspect was convicted of murder and sentenced 21 years to life imprisonment. 2 references and 4 figures
Main Term(s): Science and Technology
Index Term(s): Bone analysis; Criminal investigation; Criminalistics; Dental analysis; Evidence identification; Forensic anthropology; Forensic sciences; Homicide victims; Ohio; Police; Suspect identification; Victim identification; Victims of violent crime
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